The students selected a partner to work collaboratively with on the project. Their first step was to interview peers, teachers, and family members in order to find out what kinds of products and inventions people feel we need and would be likely to buy. They came up with all sorts of useful ideas like flying cars, devices for switching their teacher, popularity rings, and many other useful inventions. Next, they had to complete a worksheet on which they could list the details about their product like the creative product name, target customer, slogan, and a detail of the scenes in the comercial.
This first phase of the project required mostly seat work and was easy to manage, but in the next phase I actually had to let them go and video tape their scenes. As you can imagine, I had students all over the place outside the computer lab and at various places around campus acting, directing, creating props, and working on various stages of production independently. I expected to have a lot of off-task behavior but I was amazed at how my students only required a minimum amount of redirecting. There are 38 students in this class and that meant there were 19 video projects going on simultaneously. As I looked around, I could tell my students were all engaged in their projects or helping others with theirs.
The whole thing reminded me of why I became a teacher in the first place--to make school meaningful and memorable for my students. During my own fifth grade year, Mrs. Booth at Corona Ave. School in Bell, California had our class produce a play about American history. It was one of the fondest memories I have of my own school experience. I know that when my students grow up and remember Los Alisos, they will recall their experience in creating their video commercial projects.
Come back and check our site soon to see the final cut of our video projects.